October 12, 2007

My “typical” walk through Paris to English lessons

Posted in Exploring at 12:30 pm by Lauren

Yesterday on my way home from my second English lesson, I thought about how I should really bring a camera on my walk to and from the lessons. But for now, I’ll just verbally walk you along my route and the sites I pass along my way.

The walk is slightly over two miles, and it starts at Ile St. Louis in the 4th arrondissement and ends in the 15th arrondissement near Montparnasse. I first head across the Pont de la Tournelle to cross the Seine, looking right for a lovely view of Notre Dame’s flying buttresses (now I’m an architect apparently – I think that’s what they are). Once across the bridge, I continue one block until I reach Boulevard St. Germain, where I take a right. In no time at all, I’m passing the building where I babysit evenings. When I pass Square de Cluny on the left (along with the Museum of the Middle Ages inside the old monastery of Cluny), I take a left onto Blvd St. Michel, which brings me past the Sorbonne. That’s where I take a right onto Rue de Vaugirard to continue towards the Jardin de Luxembourg, the Senate building (Palais de Luxembourg) and the Musee de Luxembourg. After the Jardin de Luxembourg the walk loses some of its charm for a several blocks until I hit a major intersection with a distant view of the Eiffel Tower to the right. Two days a week, I’m seeing the sights of Paris and feeling the burn on one of the more interesting two mile stretches in Paris! (On the other hand, I suspect I could plot a two mile course in about any direction from where I am in Paris, and I’d hit several historic spots along its way too!)

You can see my route with Google pedometer at this link: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1384936.

On the way home, just before sunset, my walk gets an additional perk. I get to watch the uniformed guards at the Jardin de Luxembourg close down the park for the day. They leave the gates open so that people can get out, but they have to make sure no one new comes in. So they stand at the door and, without speaking, use their bodies to block people from walking in to the park. Both days I’ve come back from English lessons so far, I’ve watched the guards silently move in front of people to block their way. It’s very confusing for the people trying to get in the park, and very comical for me. Bonus!


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